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After Italian soldiers discovered truffles growing on Croatia’s Istrian peninsula during WWII, the prized fungus found its way into the regional cuisine. When white truffles are in season (mid-September to mid-December), the Istrian beaches empty out and the focus of 800 licensed truffle hunters, and thousands of amateurs, shifts to the forest.

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. You can find her on Twitter at @aegisnyc. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.